KIGALI - The Office of the Ombudsman is investigating a sizable number of government employees from both public and private institutions to establish the source of their wealth which does not match their incomes.
According to Selathin Rumaziminsi, Director of Anti-corruption Unit in the Office of the Ombudsman, the investigation into employees’ suspiscious wealth kicked off recently.
“We are investigating to see whether the source of their wealth is genuine. As I speak now, I am in the field investigating,” said Rumaziminsi by phone on Wednesday. He, however, declined to give the identities of the employees or names of institutions under probe.
“It is still early to name people or institutions involved. We don’t have exact figures,” Rumaziminsi explained. He said after investigations, the anti-graft office will compile a report and send it to the line ministries or institutions.
A source from the Ombudsman’s office elaborated further that once a report is sent to the employers; those implicated are “usually disciplined.”
The civil servants, according to our source are being investigated after it emerged that they could have accumulated wealth beyond their means.
“For instance, if an employee has got one vehicle, we check the source of the money and compare whether it was enough to buy this person a car,” Rumaziminsi added.
Information from the Office of the Ombudsman has in the past indicted that some government employees were corruptly accumulating wealth beyond what their salaries could justify.
Early this year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs sacked eight employees for failure to explain how they accumulated their wealth.
Investigations by police proved that the employees, some of them senior directors of the prisons services, had been involved in corruption-related cases.
According to police sources, some had lied that they received money from relatives and acquired loans from banks. But upon cross-checking, money claimed to be from relatives and loans put together could still not match the wealth accumulated.
Punishment against corrupt officials is severe. Some have in the past been convicted and sentenced to several years’ imprisonment.